Deadline to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar as 'global terrorist' nears

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On February 19, a Chinese state-run newspaper reported that India must self-introspect its anti-terrorism policy rather than blaming Pakistan for the Pulwama suicide bombing and China for blocking efforts to list Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist without proof. China has reportedly put a technical hold on the resolution.

But China said it needed more time to examine the request, asking for a hold.

India has been working the diplomatic channels at the United Nations, with the proposal to collar Azhar whose group JeM has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack that killed 40 Indian security personnel initiated by France, the UK and the US.

Except for China, which wields veto power in the Security Council, all other UNSC members were on board with the move before the al-Qaida (1267) Sanctions Committee. Until now, all the P-3 countries- US, UK and France have co-sponsored the proposal except for China.

The proposal was moved by France, the U.S. and the United Kingdom to designate Azhar a global terrorist. "This has prevented action by the worldwide community to designate the leader of JeM, a proscribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in J&K on Feb 14".

According to the listing rules of the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, if no objection is received by the end of the no-objection period, the decision will be deemed adopted, meaning that Azhar will become a UN-designated global terrorist.

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Beijing had always demonstrated responsibility, and it had been in contact with the parties on the resolution and always taken an appropriate stance, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said.

India said it was "disappointed by this outcome" but said it will "pursue all available avenues" to bring to justice terrorist leaders involved in attack on Indians.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) is expected to take up a resolution on March 13 that declares JeM chief a global terrorist. China has blocked such a move thrice since 2009.

"China will continue to adopt responsible attitude and participate in the deliberations in the UNSC 1267 Committee", Lu said on Wednesday.

China's stand follows despite India and China slowly mending ties after a 73-day military standoff in 2017. India has handed over the body of evidence to not just Pakistan but also to top diplomats of other countries (including permanent members of the United Nations Security Council).

The travel ban entails preventing the entry into or transit by all states through their territories by designated individuals. The United States is urging Pakistan to see the "urgency" of taking action against them. This has prevented action by the global community to designate the leader of JeM. Also, India's growing proximity to the U.S., sheltering Dalai Lama, and Pakistan's role in China's One Belt One Road strategy are said to be the reasons for China's protecting Pakistan's interests.

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